Politicians in the North have condemned those responsible for a bomb blast in Derry this afternoon.

No-one was injured in the explosion which occured inside a branch of the Santander bank in the Diamond area.

Police had received reports that three masked men had entered the premises, where they left a device.

Nearby streets and local businesses had been evacuated when the security alert began.

No-one was injured in the blast, but motorists and shoppers faced severe disruption, with road closures still in place in the city.

Dissident republicans have been blamed for the attack, which has been widely condemned.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson said those responsible had nothing to offer but death and destruction.

Sinn Féin Cllr Gerry MacLochlainn said: 'Thankfully this was a small device and no injuries and no serious damage was caused and the people who carried out the attack need to realise that they have been rejected by the republican community and should desist immediately.'

Separately, racing has resumed at the North West 200 event in Co Derry following an earlier security alert.

The paddocks area at Portstewart was evacuated and racing was delayed for a time earlier today.

The alert was declared a hoax.